(Reuters) – A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed Amazon.com Inc.'s lawsuit to block New York prosecutors from investigating the online retailer's ability to protect warehouse workers from COVID-19.
U.S. Brooklyn District Judge Brian Cogan rejected Amazon's claim that Attorney General Letitia James acted in bad faith by trying to police its pandemic response and stop its alleged revenge against workers who were unhappy that the company did nothing more.
"The state has a legitimate interest in ensuring that employers comply with state labor laws, enforce important health protection measures and are sanctioned for illegal behavior that occurs within the state," Judge Cogan wrote.
Amazon has claimed that federal health care laws preceded James' surveillance.
An Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement: "We are disappointed with today's ruling, which the court clarified does not mean that the Attorney General's underlying allegations are merit."
A spokeswoman for James said in an email: "We applaud this decision and look forward to continuing our litigation against Amazon in state court and protecting our workers."
Ms. James sued Amazon in February for treating thousands of workers at a Staten Island fulfillment center and a distribution center in Queens.
She has accused Amazon of prioritizing profits over security and wrongly disciplined two employees who protested against working conditions, one of whom was fired.
Ms. James is looking for a security monitor appointed by a court, while Amazon wants to dismiss her case, which is awaiting a state court in Manhattan. Catalog